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Abandoned dance panel of erstwhile Nayak kingdom unearthed

10-04-2018

Reports say that a team from the department of History at Seethalakshmy Ramaswamy College, have brought to light a rare dance panel arguably belonging to the Nayak period besides a pillar with insciptions on it suspecting to be of Chola period from a deserted brick mount at Kiliyur's Pathalapettai in Tiruchi.

The team that brought the earstwhile monuments to light was led by M Nalini, head of the history department of Seethalakshmy Ramaswami College. Other persons included in the team have been K Balakrishnan, P Tamizhazhakan, M Murugeshan and K Tamizhselvan. The reports were made by R Kalaikkovan, director of Dr M Rajamanikkanar Centre for Historical Research.

Dr Kalaikkovan said in a press release that the dance panel was depicted on a slab made of stone measuring 1.21 metres in length and 33 cms high. He added that the panel portrayed four pairs of dancers both male and female in a well dressed manner holding some kind of objects in a hand as if engaged in a ceremonial dance form.

Three pairs of dancers on the panel, as far as Dr Kalaikkovan is concerned, were shown hugging each other as a last pair kept dancing at a distance.

All the dancers including the pairs depicted on the stone slab are seemingly decked with ornaments as well as different hand gears. According to Dr Kalaikkovan, the ritualistic nature of the dance depicted on the slab has been denoted by the flower holding female deity seemingly placed between the two pairs at the end.

The historian further contemplated on the references borne by Silapathikaram to certain ritualistic rural folk performances similar to the one in question although several dance sculptures from different periods as well have been excavated in Tamil Nadu.